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Comics Picks of The Week 18.12.2013

Looks like its going to be the month of busy weeks. The last two weeks I’ve read two graphic novels each along with all my regular monthlies and this past week proved to be no different. Both Detective Comics Volume 4 and The Flash Volume 4 proved to be exceedingly good and now I have two more series that I need to catch up on for the New 52. Tall order, but doable. And as regards the usual monthlies, there were comics across the board, in all sorts of ways: genres, publishers, characters, etc, etc. The year has slowly transformed over the months into a really solid year for comics overall.

I still haven’t made any dent in the pile of graphic novels I have to read, but I’m not too worried about any of it, to be honest. Already used to that phenomenon from my novel reading.

Anyway, here’s another edition of this new feature. Full reading list, as always, is available here and all my comics reviews are available here.

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Advent Review #20: He-Man and The Masters of The Universe Vol.3 (Graphic Novel Review)

Last year, DC relaunched their He-Man and The Masters of The Universe line with a six-issue mini-series and a few digital issues that tied into that story. Originally written by James Robinson, Keith Giffen was brought on from just the second issue because of the lukewarm response that the former’s first issue had received. And DC did seem committed to the project, so thankfully the mini-series was put out on time, for the most part, and the digital tie-ins followed suit as well. Soon as the mini-series finished, DC then announced that Giffen and artist Pop Mhan would be staying on to helm a new ongoing that would use the mini-series as a launching point.

I was reading the issues as they were released, but lost track of things in the middle. It mostly had to do with how slow the story was moving and so I resolved to get back to it once all the issues of the first arc had been released, and I could read them back to back. Now that that’s happened, and the series has seen a major creative change with writer Dan Abnett and artist Rafael Kayanan being brought in, I finally read the first six issues back to back last night, and they do make for a better experience when read as such. While the story isn’t all that exciting, is kind of a redo of the 1985 animated movie He-Man and She-Ra: The Secret of The Sword, and some of the character designs are a bit weak, its kind of fun still. I’m a sucker for anything He-Man, so I’m sure I’m more forgiving than most.

Note: The actual graphic novel has not been released and I’m assuming that when it is, the first six issues are going to be in it, and not anything else.

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Publishing and Marketing 04: Women in SFF Part 2

About a week or so ago, I posted a list of some of my favourite female authors in SFF, past and present (that is, some of the women on the list are now sadly deceased). For the follow-up, I wanted to focus on some of my favorite female characters in SFF, irrespective of genre. Until March last year, I didn’t really have such a list in my mind. Even though I had read a few books by then that had female protagonists or supporting characters, I’d never really considered if any of them were my “favourites”. But that changed around quickly when I read Nathan Long’s Jane Carver of Waar, and all of a sudden, I realised that there were so many female characters I’d read of over the years that I would put on a list of favourites.

It was a really interesting revelation, and it led to me paying much more attention to such characters in the books I was reading, or had read, or would read. One thing that I noticed while compiling this list was that for the most part my favourite female characters fall into the role of the “warrior”, which is another subconscious thing I never really paid attention to.

Really weird how these things work out.

Once again, as caveat for this list, this is by no means comprehensive, just a small selection of a much wider range. And in this list, I’m not limiting myself to just novels and the like, I’m extending it to comics and movies as well, given that I am much more familiar with these media in terms of the content, rather than with the creators. Feel free to check out my reviews (books and comics) of the various novels I’ve read in the last two years for a bigger interest list.

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